Diet & Nutrition 4 MIN READ 169 VIEWS January 31, 2022

Can Fish Oil Benefits Help Fight Asthma?

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Fish oil benefits

Asthma is possibly one of the most common respiratory diseases among adults and children. Of course, there is medication available today to control the symptoms. However, there are other lifestyle and dietary changes that can help you manage this condition better. There are studies to show that there may be some fish oil benefits for asthma that makes it an added option to think about if you are suffering from this respiratory issue. Let us take a look at some studies that have assessed fish oil capsule benefits for asthma. 

Studies on Fish Oil Capsule Benefits for Asthma

According to the NHLBI or the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, asthma is a long-term or chronic condition that tends to inflame and thereby narrow the lung’s airways. This leads to severe wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Omega-3 has several properties that caught the attention of experts who were studying the possible cures for asthma

There are some theories with respect to fish oil benefits for relief from asthma: 

1. Asthma Control Improves When Omega-3 Index is Higher 

A recent study that was published in the Nutrients journal revealed that a higher Omega-3 index is related to better control of asthma symptoms. Studies prior to this one have examined the relationship between DHA and EPA and the occurrence of the symptoms of asthma. 

This study compared a Western diet to a Mediterranean diet. The former includes a higher amount of saturated fats, salt, and sugars. The latter includes fruits, vegetables, fish, and other nutrient-dense foods. Individuals who consumed a Mediterranean diet with fish like sardines, herring, and salmon were less likely to develop asthma symptoms. This was linked to the fish oil benefits of these fatty fish varieties. 

With higher Omega-3 consumption, it was observed that the consumption of ICS or Inhaled Corticosteroids for asthma had better effects even with smaller dosages. This led to the conclusion that Omega-3 may play a significant role in managing asthma. 

2. Omega-3 May Reduce the Chances of Allergic Reactions 

A paper that was published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Investigation’ showed the findings of a study conducted using cell cultures of individuals with asthma. 

Asthma is an allergic reaction to dust or other pathogens in most cases. Now, in order to trigger this allergic reaction, the immune system produces certain antibodies. In the case of asthma, specifically, the antibodies produced are called IgE. Studies conducted on the cell cultures showed that one of the many fish oil tablets benefits is the reduction of IgE levels in the body. 

However, this was not confirmed in individuals who use oral steroids in higher dosages. Normally, excessive corticosteroids tend to block the beneficial qualities of most nutrients that one consumes. 

3. The Anti-Inflammatory Properties Help Fight Asthma 

Any allergic reaction is the result of inflammation triggered by the immune system when a pathogen attacks the body. As mentioned above, the primary cause of asthma is the inflammation of the airways which could be due to an allergic reaction. 

Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, have very strong anti-inflammatory properties that help manage this inflammation, thereby reducing the symptoms. One of the most important fish oil tablets benefits is the management of chronic inflammation in any part of the body. 

When inflammation persists even after the triggering is eliminated, it is considered chronic. This is the cause for several health issues, including asthma. Studies have confirmed that Omega-3 has potent anti-inflammatory properties. However, the exact mechanism of these fatty acids and their anti-inflammatory benefits still remain unknown. 

There are some speculations that Omega-3 fatty acids may inhibit several factors that are responsible for inflammation. The advantage of these fatty acids is that they do not suppress the immune system in the process. This makes them valuable in managing inflammation-related health issues. 

4. Asthma Prevention is Possible With Omega-3 Dosage

Fish oil capsules benefits also  include the prevention of asthma. A study conducted by the Queen Mary University of London in association with other prominent universities investigated the relationship between asthma and the genes of an individual. 

It is a known fact that one of the most common diseases in childhood is asthma. There is a good chance that the diet has a big role to play here. This study used data from a large number of children and their mothers in the 1990s. The data showed the association between DHA and EPA intake and the diagnosis of asthma at a later age. It also showed that consuming Omega-3 rich foods, especially until the age of seven, can significantly reduce the risk of asthma. It was revealed that a high Omega-3 content in the body can reduce the chances of expression of a gene variant that is the primary reason for asthma in children. 

Most of the children in this study derived their Omega-3 intake from fresh sources like fish. This study showed that a healthy diet, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, can be very beneficial in preventing the occurrence of asthma and other respiratory diseases at a later stage in life. 

Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine also showed that fish oil tablets benefits are enhanced when women consume them during their pregnancy. This study showed that the foetus’ exposure to Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the chances of asthma and wheezing in children.  

Conclusion

There is no absolute cure for asthma. The symptoms can only be managed with medication and a healthy lifestyle. With respect to the fish oil benefits for asthma, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest a definite relationship between the two. However, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3 can help in the management of these symptoms to a large extent. It improves overall health and is also important in keeping your immune system strong. This, eventually, leads to better asthma management, if not prevention.

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